Improv Class #Six

This weeks' class was a lot more satisfactory than usual. Adam's getting much better at improvising scenes, and I don't know where she gets them, but Robin keeps coming up with new games for the group to do. The first couple games are always fun, because they're for physical warm-up. One game was called "The Sun Shines". One person stands in the middle of the circle and says, "The sun shines on...anyone who's wearing red," or "anyone born in September," or "anyone who's a vegetarian," you get it, right? And then everyone the sun shines on has to change his spot, and the person in the middle tries to steal someones spot, so the game is similar to "musical chairs" in that respect. People running all over the place, very funny.
There was another very funny 2-player game that involved one person reading from a script and the other person having to add his/her spin on it. The one who reads lines often has hilarious things to say, and the clueless one has no choice but to respond to whatever comes along. It was so funny, you just had to be there.
This time, Robin has gotten more authoritative. Sometime during the class, Charlie and Eric were goofing off, and Robin reminded everyone that for one to earn respect, one has to be respectful to everyone else. And that means watching and listening to your fellow performers and learning about what works and what doesn't work.
The last game we played had a few phases; first we did free association on whales, then we did different scenes with people on a topic however distantly related to whales, and finally a few people got to do monologues. I played a character of a vegetarian in a club, and when prompted as to what's so good about broccoli and spinach, I said, "There's plenty of other good stuff for vegetarians, like zucchini spaghetti that I make with my cool spiral slicer thing." I wasn't sure if she was acting, but a girl named Rebecca said "That sounds cool, I gotta try that sometime." Wouldn't it be cool if I turned someone on to a new and delicious way to eat zucchini?
When Adam, Bettina, and I got back home, we got mashed potatoes, and watched "High School Musical 3" on DVD. Whoo-hoo, yeah!
Gotta go now, byeee!

A Very Important Lesson

Today my dad, Benny, taught me something that I don't soon want to forget. Adam, Bettina and I were thinking up ideas for the next "Leslie & Kyle sock-puppet show", and one of the ideas required the use of Groucho-glasses. The trouble was, we didn't own a pair of Groucho-glasses, so we decided to be proactive, and we walked to the nearest dollar-store. Unfortunately the man who ran the small store didn't speak English very well (We're looking for a pair of Groucho-glasses), and after he showed us a box full of regular glasses (No, Groucho Marx, Marx Brothers?) and a snorkling mask (Marx, not mask.) we decided to cut our losses and leave (Oh well, thanks anyway). We came back home empty-handed and tried to think our way around this obstacle. Then Benny came in and we told him the story of the foriegn dollar-store manager, and then he said, "Well if your episode needs Groucho-glasses, why don't you make a pair yourselves?"
"Out of what?" I ask him.
"Anything around the house, cardboard, play-dough, use your imagination."
"That won't work." I say stubbornly.
"If you can imagine it, you can make it." He says.
"Well I can't imagine it." Red flag goes up for my dad. Can't and imagine in the same sentence?
What had happened to me? The can-do girl with a positive attitude and a healthy imagination. He tells me something along the lines of "Can't is a limiting word, imagination is limitless, don't go putting limits on the limitless. Can't holds you back from reaching your full potential." I felt a little embarassed, but I also knew my dad was right. 
Then Bettina and Adam came up with some ideas of their own, and we put together some cardboard, construction paper, and bits of fake sideburns to create our very own miniature Groucho-glasses built just for Kyle the sock puppet. After we were done, and after we admired our handiwork, I thought about what this experience has taught me. Keep thinking creatively and don't let the word "can't" hold me back from being all I can be. I hope that I have another chance to use this lesson soon, because the next time something doesn't work as planned, I'll come up with possible solutions instead of accepting that the problem won't be fixed. I will. Expect a new "Leslie and Kyle" show on YouTube, March 32nd. (^.^ April Fools!)


My Doodle Collection #7

7. A very fascinating number, in my opinion. For one thing I was born on the 7th (of Sept.), 7 is a prime number, and there are 7 dwarfs in Snow White. I don't consider 7 my "lucky" number, really, but I do consider it one of my favorite numbers. It's a challenging number that isn't tamed easily. But when you do, it gives such interesting results (You get 35, 42, and 133 multiplying by 7, and 1/7 as a decimal number is 14.28). But hey, you didn't come here for math now did you? You came here for art! Well excuse me for exercising both hemispheres of your brain.

<--- For starters, here is a doodle I did almost 3 YEARS ago of a playground at some park. I've forgotten how good I was way back when. It's fun to look into childhood archives and find treasures like this, isn't it?

---> And now, with a snap we come back to the present, and I do this. I first outlined this on the 7th of March (7 again!), using my fine new French Curve tools. Then I thought, "Well, that doesn't look so pretty all black and white. I'm gonna just color the whole thing!". I used coloring pencils. Coloring is a very meditative activity, I find, especially if you color in large spaces. In this experiment, I can see forms of dinosaurs, and waves. What do you see?

<--- I never did put a date on these 2 seashells. Gosh, why didn't I date them? Future or fellow artists, learn from my mistakes; date your artwork!

<--- This one I drew on the beach. Just like last week. It was just before we had to go home, and I captured the moment as best as I could. The waves were very big, and I went swimming twice yesterday. If you can't see the buoy, the seagull, or the faraway boat, click the picture. (Sorry that it's so big, I'm not sure how to fix that exactly.)

Now that I'm done with this, it's on with my day. I need to figure out the meaning of life and hang upside-down for a while. See ya!


Improv Class #Five

I had a pretty good time this week at Improv class, but I'm not too sure if much has changed, besides the games that Robin keeps coming up with. Last night (because tonight is Friday), we learned a game called "Ali Baba and the Forty Theives". It's kindof like singing in the round, only instead of lyrics, one person starts off with a dance move, then the next person does the same move while the first person comes up with a new move, and so on until we make it all around the circle of 15. Unfortunately a few people didn't quite understand the game completely and so spoiled the game for everyone else. We also played a funny fast-paced game called "What are you doing?" 2 people play at a time, and 1 person starts doing an improvised action. 
The second person asks, "What are you doing?" And then the first person says that he/she's doing something that's completely unrelated to what he/she was actually doing.

Example: I'm pretending to sew a patch on a pair of pants.
"W hat are you doing?" the second person asks.
"I'm trying to put on a T-Shirt that's too small!"
The second person pretends to do just that.
"W hat are you doing?" I ask.
"Getting these ants off my back!" and so on and so forth.

A few extra peronalities to add on to my repertoire of characters: a man who has a pet bird, a rabbi sweeping hamantashen crumbs under the rug, a roommate who uses someone's toothbrush for washing dishes without telling them, and, if it counts for anything, a girl who keeps changing outfits at a mall. I find that a couple select people still do not completely respect those in the limelight, to this week. Those selected are a couple of boys, Eric and Charlie, who work well together as a team, but for anyone else, they either steal the show, or go off on their own to do something distracting like toss a ball back and forth. Not to say that there aren't a few girl characters who haven't changed much over the past 5 weeks; there's Sophie, who pretty much craves attention, and gets it by talking loudly and being generally silly; there's also Gabby who is a tiny bit shy and not very physically expressive, you know, just plays a "talking head". Most of the other people have been in this Improv group at least once before in the last year, so they're all very good and experienced at what they do, and hopefully some of their grace and fluidity of action will rub off on me and my sibs.

After class was over, I felt like I had to promote my "Leslie and Kyle" show in some way, for some reason, and so without quite thinking it through, I blurted out to anyone who cared to hear, "Anyone who watches YouTube please search for 'Leslie and Kyle', it's a webshow me and my brother and sister do, with sockpuppets." A few people said "Really? Oh that's nice, maybe I will." I wonder if anybody will mention liking the show when we come next week.


"Singing in the Rain"

Over the past week here in South Florida, we've been catching a few dearly missed spring showers. Spring is practically here! The trees and grass are looking a bit greener for all the wetness, and the air is divine to breathe. What a Glorious Feeling!
Just last night Adam, Bettina and I watched this classic musical, and we loved it. I adore old-time musicals; whenever I watch them, I think to myself, "Why didn't I see this sooner? I'm watching film history!" What a Glorious Feeling! I love Donald O'Conner's character in the movie, Cosmo, and his number "Make 'Em Laugh." He sure made me clutch my sides! xD
Having watched this movie, I finally understand what "doing Singin' in the Rain" means in theatre terms. (When someone sings behind the curtain while someone else, who doesn't have a good singing voice, lip synchs the song and takes credit for the performance). Great movie, great music, and great dancing! What fancy footwork! My goodness gracious, if people danced like that all the time, they wouldn't need to go to the gym!

Afterthought: I sure hope it doesn't rain on my parade when me and my sibs have to go to Improv class tonight. We ride there by bike!


My Doodle Collection #6

Behold! A new doodle post! The first four sketches are a few months old now, but the last one I created just 2 days ago. You'll see.
---> Here is one of those sketches that I copied upside down so it comes out more accurate. It's titled "Portrait of Leon Bakst", and I drew it way back in July of '08, which was, let's see...8 months ago. The original artwork was created by Pablo Picasso, and I copied it from the book "Drawing on the Artist Within".
<--- This one has no name, and it was made on the same day as "Leon Bakst". Basically I took a line for a walk, and then I stopped to see what it looked like, and I saw a bunch of faces without eyes. So I filled in a bunch of eyes everywhere. I'nt it neat?---> Now this sweet little house is on the cover of a book called "The Willoughbys", a story about 4 old-fashioned children who think it would be a fun idea to be orphans, while their parents think it would be a great idea to abandon them (like in Hansel and Gretel) and go on a vacation. There are big words, a nanny with a Mary Poppins-like character, and a melancholy millionaire who finds a baby on his doorstep. I tell you, great story for kids. If you notice, on the date it says 1-21-08, when I actually mean 1-21-09! My bad. <--- And now this one has a similar problem, namely I dated it 12-27-09 when I actually meant 12-27-08. Am I wacky or what? Anyway, the unicorn is lamentably not an original of mine, but an illustration I copied out of my mom's old high school yearbook. I think it was one of her friends that drew it. I dream someday of being my sister's illustrator for her story that she's writing, and one of the characters happen to be a unicorn, so it was a fine way to practice.
---> Finally, this sketch was drawn on Sunday at the beach that I go to. I drew a portrait of my friend Gigi's baby brother, Jovee (pronounced like Jovi, but spelled with 2 e's at the end). My friend didn't come to the beach though, so I just asked the mom permission to draw her baby. Jovee is now 5 months old. Have you ever drawn a baby before? It's not a task for the faint at heart, you know, what with all the squirming. But in the end, or maybe sometime in the middle, it feels worth it to capture the round, chubby shapes and the alert eyes and the tiny fingers and toes, on paper. I hope I did Jovee justice.

Thank you for viewing! It's so much fun putting up my favorite drawings on Blogger. It inspires me to draw more masterpieces. Now that the SATs are over (hallelujah!!!) I won't be too busy to do a doodle.
Isn't that cute? Do-a-doodle? Oh well. See ya soon!


The Nightmare is Over! (exaggerating)

Finally! I can rest easy again! The SAT test is now behind me! I will stop using exclamations right after this sentence!

It seems almost hard to believe now how many hours I've been awake today. Bettina and I set our alarm clock to go off at 6:15 this morning (although I woke up at around 6:00) and the time on my computer, as I am writing this blog post, is now a quarter past 4:00. Don't worry, I got plenty of rest last night. Only stayed up till around 10:00 laying out clothes and setting up a backpack full of SAT-taking supplies: pencils, calculators, snacks, the like.
Back to this morning...Earlier I had a dream that I had already taken the SAT, and that I had nothing to worry about. Oh well. Had to make breakfast and wake mom to drive us. Had hot porridge in the car. Saw the sunrise on the way there. My mom stopped at Publix and bought us some fresh rolls to eat during breaks. Then she dropped me and my sister off near the high school entrance and wished us both good luck on the test. Go time.
Approached a line full of teenagers. Didn't seem to be very organized, so Bettina and I skipped ahead to near the front of the line. We got sent to a room, and found our way to #207 (which was our number). 30 teens altogether in the classroom. 7 boys to 23 girls. I counted.
The proctor (guy who oversees test takers) recited the whole SAT shtick about no electronics, other than calculators, in the class; no distracting noises during the test; only start a section when he says to and stop when he says stop; blah, blah, blah. Ready now. Set. GO! An essay and 9 sections later (or approximately 3 and 3/4 hours later), Bettina and I finish the blasted test! Three cheers! HOORAY! HOORAY! HOORAY! We were both tired, but immensely proud of ourselves for taking the SATs and not falling to pieces (as I feared I would during the essay). I daresay we might have done better this time around than we did on Nov. 1, the last time we took the SATs.

Later, my twin sister and I had to wait at the bus stop in front of the high school for about 15 minutes. During the wait, we ate some cereal, and I started reading a book called "Join Me" by Danny Wallace. Good thing we remembered to bring something to read just for that purpose. We had to take 3 buses and walk about half a mile to get back home. Now here I am, blogging and hanging out with my cockatiels on my shoulders. Now I have more time for my pets, and my doodles, and Leslie and Kyle, and all sorts of other stuff! Good gracious.  -_-
I'm footweary, my brain is tired, and I want to watch a movie. Catch you later! But first, a couple funny pictures!


Updates for the Week

Sorry that I haven't been posting this whole week. I can hardly believe the last time I blogged was my last Improv Post! I've been very busy studying for my SATs. My sister and I have this awesome system for learning math together, and I'm completely confident that we're both gonna ace that subject no problem. Ditto with the reading and writing subjects. The only thing I'm nervous about is the SAT essay. And the test is only 2 days away! Is that enough time to practice writing an acceptable 300 word/3-4 paragraph essay that is not vague and contains concrete examples relevant to the topic in the 25 minutes allotted? I don't think so!
Still, I don't want to not practice writing essays. I want to get better. If only writing handwritten essays was as easy as typing out blogposts on the computer. Maybe I just need to look at it a different way, as if the essay were a blogpost. There's an idea (maybe)!

Other items this week: My family discovered zucchini pasta!
No boiling water! No carbs! Just raw zucchini peeled up into strips, sliced into noodles and topped with a sauce of your choosing (tomato sauce for me). Left is zucchini spaghetti, Right is zucchini lasagna, with avocado and chopped spinach instead of cheese. MMM-MMM! I haven't even had breakfast yet, and I want some! 
Another good thing about zucchini pasta: The Jewish holiday of Passover is coming up (in April) and Jews aren't supposed to eat any bread or anything with yeast or dough in it, which includes regular pastas. But now with this natural pasta-alternative, we don't need to suffer completely! It's really the sauce that makes the dish anyway.

In other news, my artwork has been slowed down noticeably, for SAT reasons mainly, but earlier this week my mom bought from "Michael's" a set of French Curves at my request. French Curves are a type of drawing tool, useful forachieving natural arcs and curves. I'm experimenting a little, and after the test has been taken (please put me out of my misery) I'll put my picture up on one of my doodle posts. Okay?

Improv class is later tonight, but I didn't want to wait until then to do some regular life-update type blogging. You've been a great audience. Thanks for reading. Byeeee!

Improv Class #Four

Okay, time for writing about Improv class. I have to say that this one was not the best session so far. By now I know every single person in this class, but that doesn't mean that I'm comfortable acting with these guys. People are still talking amongst themselves and getting distracted while someone is trying to do Improv.
I suppose I can't blame the rest of the group this time, because Robin had us do a few challenging exercises. The games are turning into longer and longer "scenes" so we can practice how it would be in front of a real audience. One game was called "Monologue". It's a game where one person goes up, and the audience suggests a topic, and the person has to pretend like he/she is the expert of that topic. One person got "Wizard of Oz", another person got "cows". I got "nose hairs". What can a person say about nose hairs? The rule is you have to talk and talk about your topic, and if you say "uh, um, oh," or you stop talking for a few seconds because you can't think of anything else to say, you're out. After going into this made-up story about how nose hairs are miniature security guards who bounce out the germs and dust from the nose by pushing the sneeze button, I had to sit down.
Oh, but I have to tell about the beginning of the class, I can't believe I neglected to mention it. At the beginning, after Robin got us "settled down", we got physically warmed up by doing some stretches, head rolls, touching toes. We got to practice enunciating our consonants by using these passages that Robin handed out to us, and they were some pretty Shakespearean insults. Lamentably, I have forgotten all except "You thief of love!" but trust me when I say they were a lot more creative than that.
*take a deep breath* Okay, I'm going too fast for myself. I need to just take a break. My SATs are coming up in less than 2 days, so I have to get my head on straight. Peace out ya'll.


Improv Post #Three

The third week of Improv Class was so much fun. I'm so happy that I know the names of every single person participating. Of course only ten other kids showed up, but what's the difference. However, most of the kids still don't seem to get that Improv requires respecting other people in the "spotlight", which means no judging or critiquing, listening and watching the people performing so they can learn what looks good as well as what doesn't, and giving support to fellow actors, helping the scene move forward. This doesn't mean that I myself have nothing to work on; I have to not be afraid to take risks, or make mistakes, because in Improv (as well as acting in general), the audience doesn't notice mistakes until someone hesitates. I have to trust that in a jam, my fellow actors will have my back, instead of taking it upon myself to cover any screw-ups. Robin, the teacher, suggested that each of us keep a sort of Improv Journal so that we know what sort of Improv personalities we do best. Here is a list of characters I have done so far in class:
  • A camel
  • A freefall parachute instructor
  • A dog
  • A librarian
Well, it's not too many yet, but I have played a load more characters in my "professional" acting experience (in talent shows and plays and such, plus don't forget the sock-puppet webshow). Here are a few more characters in my repertoire:
  • Lou Costello (Me and Bettina performed "Who's on First" on stage years ago)
  • Ms. Darbus (from High School Musical last summer)
  • Kyle (the sock dude who does impressions from time to time ^.^)
There, I think that's a pretty good start for my character portfolio so far. I'll be sure to add more soon. Thank you for reading, and have a good night.


My Doodle Collection #5

Surprise! I'm not going to wait another day for my doodles to go up on my blog, so here are 5 more of my favorite works. These pictures were all drawn in pencil, but I edited them in Adobe Photoshop so that the backgrounds are all bright and the outlines are all dark. I like working in Photoshop; so many cool effects and filters! Anyway...

<--- This is a zebra.
And this is a giraffe. --->
Both were drawn on November 16, 2008. I copied them out of a book called "The Cartoon History of the Universe: Volume 1". It was a world history book in comic form. Everyone should be able to learn history and read comics at the same time!

Now the rest of these masterpieces were all made on the same day: March 2, 2009. That saves me a lot of jumping around memory lane, doesn't it?

<--- This one I drew first. It is an "Annette Levy Original", called "Guy with a bird on his head". I was inspired after watching a movie called "The Tune". It was a very surreal and well-animated story about a song-writer who's trying to write the perfect song for his slimeball boss Mr. Mega, so he can keep his job and his girlfriend. As he rushes to work, he gets lost and ends up in a town called Flooby Nooby, a Wonderland-like place where he meets an Elvis-impersonating dog, a noseless cabdriver, and the Wise One (a confusing guru who speaks in words that make no sense) as he tries to get to Mr. Mega's office to deliver the song. I just thought that drawing a guy with a bird on his head would be pretty fun to do.

---> Right afterwards I still felt the drawing urge, and so I drew my eraser. I concentrated on the light and shadows, and you know, it got me to really see the eraser. It wasn't too hard either. Usually I think drawing light and shadow is pretty hard to do, but if you see the subject, and you draw what you see, it just kinda pops off the page, you know?

<--- Finally, this is a vase of flowers. The vase I based on real life, the flowers I came up with by myself. The flowers that were actually in the vase were a little bit tough to recreate; too many petals.

These things were so much fun to make. I've shown them off to my family, and they are so supportive of me, and so I'd like to thank them publicly. 

Thank you family!

I love drawing because all through the day I really look at things, and think about who designed them and how they came up with the idea. 
For example, when I go to the supermarket, I notice all the brand names on the candies and cookies and chips, such as Tostitos. Did you ever notice how the 2 Ts in the middle are sharing a chip, and the i in the middle has a bowl of salsa on it? I wish that I came up with that!

Anyway, ciao for now! Bye!


March Resolutions

February 2009 is now history. It went by a lot quicker than January, but that's probably because it had fewer days. Last month, on top of the resolutions I made for New Year's, I made a few resolutions for February, so let's see how I've upheld my tiny list of February Resolutions:

) 1 ~ Concerning number of books I have read this month: I have read a total of 8 books in February. And that's only if I count the couple books in the "Bone" series that I read in only a couple hours at Borders. The books that kept me the longest was the "How to Master the Art of Selling" book (a wonderful read that I recommend highly) and "Pendragon: Raven Rise", the 9th in the series (and also an excellent story, although you have to be involved in the rest of the series to appreciate it). I don't think I'll be setting any more reading goals for this month. I'm not trying to set any records here.
) 2 ~ Concerning my decision to wake up and go to sleep earlier: Unfortunately this resolution hasn't been kept all through this month, although these past few days I'm able to go to sleep very late (say midnight), and yet wake up very early (about 9:30ish). This resolution wasn't well thought through. Or maybe I'm weak. I love to sleep, and I hate to miss SNL. Anyway, it wasn't smart to put a curfew and a wake-up time on my day, because I believe in Divine Time; when I want to get up in the morning, it'll be the right time to get up, and when I go back to sleep at night, I was meant to go to sleep at that exact time. Plus if I need to wake up for something very important, I am out of bed and on my feet in seconds. I'm not too worried about my sleeping habits. I'm a well-rested person.
3 ~ Concerning drawing and/or writing every day: This resolution I am ashamed of. I have not been drawing or writing every day. In fact I felt so bad about not drawing for so long, that I drew this:
I know, "A toilet? Why??"
"Why not?" I ask you.
It may not make up for everything, but at least I had a fun 15 minutes drawing it. I have also written a total of 12 blog posts (including this one) just this month. I'm a bit impressed with myself. But I still need to find time to write physically more often.
4 ~ Concerning making new friends: I'm very very proud of just how well I've lived up to this wonderful resolution. Not only have I made at least a dozen friends over at Improv Class, but I also have gotten to know a couple new Blogger friends as well, like Nick James and Rainy.Rani. I have exceeded my expectations.
5 ~ Concerning trying something I never thought of trying: I don't know what I was thinking when I made up this resolution. It's not specific enough. As far as I can tell I have not done anything in February that I did without thinking about it first. Not that I haven't had any new experiences, I certainly did (like joining the Improv Class and registering for the SATs and studying without paying for a course), but I had to think about those things first, so I would think that they don't count. So much for that. Phooey.

I haven't gone skydiving yet, but at least I pretended I did in this weeks Improv class (see earlier post). That one was more of a joke than a resolution anyway. Double Phooey.

On another note, Spring is in the air! The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer (not that it's ever really cold in Florida), and the supermarkets and malls and other shopping venues are getting ready to sell St. Patricks Day and Easter merchandise. Whoop-de-doo.
Now for some new Resolutions for the month of March that shouldn't be too hard for me:
  • Be absolutely ready to ace the SATs this month. Unfortunately I won't get the results for another 6 to 8 weeks
  • Write 5 Doodle Collection Posts. I've still got a few of my old works, but not much more. I'm going to start coming up with more originals, for your viewing pleasure.
  • Help my mom around the house more. Goodness knows I can go the extra mile for her when I want to. I just get so focused on reading and doodling and watching good movies that I don't really think about vacuuming or washing the dishes that much. So much for "an artist must not be fettered with the banal tasks of the household else her work suffers." I made that line up just now. I have no reason to complain. Moving on...
  • I know! Film another "Leslie and Kyle" show! (Need catching up? Click here. And then click here.)
  • Touch my toes without bending my knees. Throughout the month of March I will work to improve my flexibility by stretching and exercising, maybe some yoga. I'm a healthy person, but I don't feel stretchy enough.
There, that should hold me for the remaining 4 weeks. I've thought long and hard about my goals, which is the reason why this post was delayed. I wanted to post this on Feb. 28, or Mar. 1, but I had to edit this for an extra couple days. Thank you for reading.